Darts, ARCs, & Good Book Covers

04 Apr Darts, ARCs, & Good Book Covers

Writing a blog post usually feels like playing darts 🎯.

For the record, I am not a good dart player. I did slightly twist my ankle many years ago while playing darts if you need a visual of my lack of skill.

Each blog post is a dart and my target is the world, or at least the www part of it. My aim is always for the bookworm, but my throw is a bit haphazard (as in the real game of darts), so it’s anybody’s guess where it’s going to land.

So—if you are a bookworm and you’re reading this, I have landed in my intended spot! Even if it’s by accident, maybe you twisted your ankle, I’m glad you are here.

Over the past week or so I have received a few ARCs from #Netgalley and I want to share them with you.

I read Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg a few years back, which is how I am familiar with him. Below is a bit about his new book from Netgalley:

📌 A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t seen in forty-nine years.

A man arrives at a Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby.

A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past.

These seemingly disconnected lives come together as half-century-old secrets begin to surface. It is in this moment that Bill Clegg reminds us how choices—to connect, to betray, to protect—become our legacy.

Deeply observed and beautifully written, this novel is a feat of storytelling, capturing sixty years within the framework of one fateful day.

Clegg is a wonderful writer. If you’ve not read DYEHAF, go read that before this one is released this September from Gallery Books.

I love this cover 🎨.

Don’t argue that a cover doesn’t matter.

I had never heard of this book or it’s author. As I was scrolling down the lovely avenues of NG this cover stopped me. This cover is what drew me in to read a synopsis and ultimately request a copy.

What if this had been the cover? It’s not horrible, but it’s also not that interesting. When a book is mixed in with a bunch of others, all competing for attention, the cover has to stand out.

But—it has to stand out in a good way. Not in a way that gives a headache, like the cover immediately above. Ugh. This one is awful. I could list many things wrong with this one, but the glaring elephant in the room is that it’s hideous. No thanks, I’ll pass. I don’t care if it’s the best book ever. I’ll wait until the next printing when the cover has been redone.

📌 It’s a simple as that. I judge a book by its cover.

📌 Here is the NG synopsis of Want by Lynn Steger Strong:

Elizabeth is tired. Years after coming to New York to try to build a life, she has found herself with two kids, a husband, two jobs, a PhD—and now they’re filing for bankruptcy. As she tries to balance her dream and the impossibility of striving toward it while her work and home lives feel poised to fall apart, she wakes at ungodly hours to run miles by the icy river, struggling to quiet her thoughts.

When she reaches out to Sasha, her long-lost childhood friend, it feels almost harmless—one of those innocuous ruptures that exist online, in texts. But her timing is uncanny. Sasha is facing a crisis, too, and perhaps after years apart, their shared moments of crux can bring them back into each other’s lives.

Want will be released by Henry Holt & Co July 2020.

One of my first blog posts was about a book by Joyce Carol Oates. I am a big fan of hers. She continues to write and create at almost 82 years old. Many of her books are quite long—if you are looking for a longer read. On the other hand she has average-length novels, as well as short story collections. Her stories are often intense and occasionally dark. She wrote We Were The Mulvaneys, it was made in to a movie (on Lifetime, I think) and it may be a title you are familiar with if you are unfamiliar with her as an author. My favorite book by Oates is The Falls, which takes place at Niagara Falls and opens with a drastic scene.

Below is the NG synopsis for her latest novel :

📌 Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

NSDTS will be released June 2020 by Harper Collins.

📌 Go check out Netgalley. They are an amazing company that has such a wonderful selection of ARCs.

Last but not least, I recently came across this bit of info. Look 👀 who has a new book:

Anxious People will be released in August 2020.

PS. Did you notice the black dot ⚫️ on the “cover”? Even though Backman is hugely popular, this is not the final cover. Publishers know that while big-name authors are able to sell many books, a great (combined with author name) cover has the ability to sell more.


  • Julie Wyatt
    Posted at 16:09h, 04 April Reply

    Im so impressed! I’m loving the last graphic and oh yeah I judge every book by its cover! Love you!

    • themostconstant
      Posted at 23:24h, 04 April Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed my dart-throwing pic. Totally true to life! No grace whatsoever 🎯

  • Carol (Reading Ladies)
    Posted at 02:23h, 05 April Reply

    Great attention getting intro! Love it! I’m eager to get my hands on the new Backman book!

    • themostconstant
      Posted at 12:20h, 05 April Reply

      Thanks for saying!

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